Door County Park Set To Expand By More Than 70 Acres

County Supervisors Approved Deal, But Consider It A Loan

shore along Green Bay from Door Bluff Headlands Park
View from the shore along Green Bay from Door Bluff Headlands Park toward Washington Island. Markheffron2 (CC BY)

A northern Door County park is poised to increase dramatically in size. The Door County Board of Supervisors has approved fronting $450,000 to acquire a 72.68-acre parcel of land located next to the Door Bluff Headlands Park at the tip of the peninsula near Ellison Bay.

The resolution called for a “bridge financing.”

Door County Parks superintendent Ben Nelson said no tax dollars will ultimately be used for the purchase. Instead, grants and donations will cover the cost.

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“Opportunities for these types of parcels of land that have this much acreage that are adjacent to existing park property that are completely undeveloped, we don’t get these opportunities very frequently,” Nelson said.

He said the property has waterfront views of Green Bay, Niagara escarpment rock and is home to 46 species of birds and nearly 100 species of plant life. It also has a hardwood forest with trees that are more than 70 years old.

Nelson said the county is pursuing grants from the federal National Environmental Policy Act, with a mission to promote environmental protection and preservation. He said private donations would also play a role.

The county is acquiring the land from the Hidding family private trust. The deadline for the deal is July 15.

When the deal is closed, it will bring the Door Bluff Headlands Park up to 228 acres in size.

The county had an opportunity to acquire the land in 2008 for $1.1 million but that coincided with the Great Recession and falling real estate prices. The total purchase price in 2019 is $450,000.

“It was the matriarch of the family’s desire to have this property preserved in perpetuity with the hope of it someday being a park or some type of a nature preserve,” Nelson said.

Nelson said he believes the county will be paid back either later this year or in 2020.